“They were randomly asking people if they would be an elector,” said Justin Sheldon, a lawyer who sued on Mr. Wright’s behalf. (Mr. West was blocked from appearing on the Virginia ballot because of the scheme.)
Those looking to reform the system have seen hope recently in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a deal in which states agree to send only electors for the candidate who wins the popular vote.
So far, 15 states and the District of Columbia have agreed to join, accounting for 196 electoral votes. The compact, which has been working its way through statehouses for more than a decade, would take effect when states accounting for 270 electors agree, enough to decide the race.
Ms. Baca, the Electoral College skeptic, backed the deal in Colorado, which was passed by lawmakers last year and approved by voters in a referendum in November. But she says that’s not enough.
“We have to go much further than that,” she said, noting that the Electoral College was established by the Constitution and therefore hard to circumvent. “We have to amend the Constitution, and allow democracy to work, as we’ve told other democracies it should work.”
In 2016, Ms. Baca, who is also a former state legislator, got her biggest platform yet to make her stand on the Electoral College.
That year Mr. Trump lost the popular vote to Mrs. Clinton by nearly three million votes, but won the Electoral College and became president. With the help of a Colorado elector, Michael Baca, then a Jamba Juice employee in his early 20s who was unrelated to Ms. Baca, she began recruiting Republican electors to switch their votes from Mr. Trump. They became what in Electoral College parlance is called “faithless electors,” people who do not cast their ballot for the winner of the majority of votes in their state.